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Chefs Choice: Adam Protter

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Féves Au Sucre (Sugar Shack Beans)

Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato Sandwich

4 slices guanciale or good quality bacon

2 slices thick crusty bread (Italian or sourdough)

4 slices fresh, ripe tomato

Arugula and/or artesian lettuce

Mayo, Dijon, salt and fresh ground pepper

Beans

500 g dried navy beans

¼ cup salt

150 g house cured salt pork, cut into batons (or smoked bacon, guanciale or pancetta)

1 large yellow onion

¼ cup good quality oil

2 fat garlic cloves (4 or 5 regular cloves)

2 tbsp good quality tomato paste

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

½ cup golden yellow sugar, packed

1 cup maple syrup

60 cranks of ground black pepper

Preparation

Soak navy beans overnight using ¼ cup of salt in the water.

Drain and rinse well in the morning. Put in a pot with water (no salt) close to double the height of the beans. Bring to agonizingly slow simmer and cook until tender.

Cool and drain beans, reserving cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, make a BLT. Cook the Guanciale or bacon; toast the bread light to medium, not too crunchy. Mayo and Dijon the bottom piece, add bacon, then lettuce, tomato, salt and pepper and lots of mayo on top. Eat and enjoy your breakfast. A couple of strong Americanos really add to this experience.

Now you are ready to continue making the beans.

Cut the salt pork into thick batons and add to bean pot. Do not fry or brown as the meat will go tough and chewy.

Cut onions into a thick, half julienne. Fry golden brown in oil on medium high heat until good and dark brown edges form and they are well coloured. Add garlic, then tomato paste and fry two minutes more. Deglaze pan with a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar and one cup of water. Remove from heat and put in the bean pot.

Combine all remaining ingredients plus beans to pot, adding reserved liquid to make the sauce cover the beans.

Seal tight with parchment then foil and cook six hours in 300º oven until reduced to a pleasing yet undefined consistency.

Cool overnight and reheat for your meals.

For a vegan version don't add bacon to the sandwich, omit the salt pork and double the onions and oil. The oil is necessary to replace the fat the pork would have added.

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